It’s only love you are feeling, to paraphrase Seal on his song Bring It On. The notion I’m exploring is the effects of love on a person; when someone falls in love with a person, or sometimes with something else like art, music, or a g-d or spirit—it’s more common than you think, just not brought up as much in casual conversation, this deity- or spirit-affection—but yes, what are the effects? What happens first? Are there benefits? Aside from better blood circulation and immunity, I mean.
One of the 1st things love does psychologically in the human soul, I contend, is to sharpen a sense of identity. And also to instil a kind of direction, a sort of ecstatic future vision, or alternatively, a pie-in-the-sky future. Depending on where in the “romance life cycle” you fall, I think your opinion would be similar or emphatically opposite.
How does love sharpen a sense, confidence and assurance, of the future? How does faith work by love, as St Paul stated? How do people in love feel so sure, they risk everything? It’s love, it makes you fly like an eagle and see into the future. Love makes you semi-prescient, doesn’t it?
Phenylethylamine. Phenylethylamine. Bold and italicized. It’s a drug. Like amphetamines. This naturally occuring drug floods your brain when you fall in love and, according to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. , “phenylethylamine … causes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine” which make you feel dopey, mushy, elated, and high. Afroman high.
Sorry. Love will give you vision because drugs, especially hallucinogenics will make you see things. Add on oxytocin, and later endorphins. You will see the future. Very clearly.
But there’s more… Serotonin. According to Wikipedia, “Chemically, the serotonin effects of being infatuated have a similar chemical appearance to obsessive-compulsive disorder; which could explain why people experiencing infatuation cannot think of anyone else.” Hahahahaha! Chemicals are marvelous.
Falling in love with someone, or something, also produces Neurotrophin, but no one knows what it does. Both men and women get it. It’s also called NGF or Nerve Growth Factor because it makes neurons grow.
“Dopamine is a neurochemical that appears to be associated with mate selection”
— the good Dr. Helmenstine (above)
Check out this experiment:
“An Emory University study found that voles (a type of rodent) chose their mate based on dopamine release. When female voles were injected with dopamine in the presence of a male vole, they could select him from a group of voles later.”
If a woman releases dopamine when I’m around, she’ll go dopey around me when she meets me again LATER. She’ll want to be my wife. Because she’s under dopamine influence! Of course, she has to be a vole/rodent, and it probably helps if she lives at Emory University in a lab. When she meets me she’ll know who she is (my mate), and who I am (the man).
It would be interesting to hear some professional opinions on this as well, from those who have studied this. Some opinions based on experience would be valuable as well.
This is the antithesis to the popular statement about 2nd marriages, the “triumph of hope over experience”.
What do you think? Any professional perspective on this matter, like maybe some real psychology? Or have you had a different experience?